Criminal Justice

Lawyer is charged in alleged office groping incident; will tapes support prosecution?

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A prominent criminal defense lawyer in Columbus, Ohio, has been accused of exposing himself and fondling a client’s mother during a meeting in his office.

Lawyer Javier Armengau is free on bond on a charge of felony gross sexual imposition, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Armengau told 10TV that his accuser is “absolutely” lying, “without question.”

“This happened at 4 o’clock in the afternoon in my office with an open door,” said Armengau.

The woman making the accusations told the Dispatch she fled from Armengau’s office during the April 4 incident, but the lawyer nonetheless called her the next day and asked her to dinner. The woman said she recorded the conversation in which Armengau said she was a “hot mom” and he was just trying to relieve her stress.

The woman had dinner with Armengau and police recorded the conversation, according to Franklin County assistant prosecutor Daniel Hawkins. The prosecutor told the Dispatch that Armengau made “incriminating statements” during the dinner.

Armengau’s accuser told the Dispatch that “professionally, he’s awesome” and she doesn’t want him to go to prison. “I just want him to understand that just because you’re an attorney doesn’t give you the right to violate anyone,” she said.

Two more women came forward with similar allegations after Armengau’s arrest was publicized, according to Sgt. Terry McConnell of the Columbus police sexual-assault squad, who spoke with the Dispatch. Police are investigating.

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